Forum - View topic
Akane Analyzes (Spoilerific).

Goto page   Next

Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Anime
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:23 am Reply with quote
Hi everybody and welcome to Akane Analyzes! For this thread, I've decided that every Sunday (at least in my timezone), I'm going to post an article where I take something from anime -whether it be a character, symbol, or a song- and analyze it. This is something that I've wanted to do for a while, so I hope you guys like it!

Now, there are a few rules that I've put in place:

1. There are some topics that I've decided to never, ever, EVER discuss. This can be for various reasons, whether it be because the topic has been argued to death (e.g. who the hero and villain of Death Note are) or because the anime itself is so controversial that it can cause flame wars for merely existing (e.g. Cross Ange, Kodomo no Jikan). I don't have time right now, but I'll probably make a list of titles that will never be covered here.

2. Shipping wars will not be happening here. They cause way more trouble than they're worth, and I'm honestly not interested in whether or not X and Y want to kiss or not. As such, when the week's topic is covering romance, it will mainly be about in-universe relationships rather than speculative ones. I have nothing against shipping, mind, but I'd rather keep the focus on THAT particular subject to a minimum.

3. If you're going to disagree, at least be polite about it. I've run into a few unsavory individuals who cannot do this, and if ANY ONE OF YOU thinks it's okay to mock or personally attack someone for not agreeing with you, then I recommend staying away from this thread. I would like this place to be one where thoughtful discussion and commentary exist peacefully. Please.

With that said, enjoy.


I've decided to start with one of my favorite characters from one of the most critically acclaimed anime of all time. Who is it?

Wait, no, this is isn't it.

Not this one. Hmm...must have left my "hasubando" file open. Here we go!

Today on Akane Analyzes, I take a look at everyone's favorite gender ambiguous hacker from the future, "Radical" Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky the Fourth! Now, needless to say, this will include spoilers for the entire Cowboy Bebop series. If you haven't seen the show and don't want to be spoiled, I recommend you turn away and go watch it. Really.

Let's first talk about Edward's character in relation to her parent series. Edward is very much a child, albeit a very intelligent one. She spends her days on a ravaged Earth hacking cyberspace as "Radical Ed". In her debut episode "Jamming with Edward", we see her befriend a lonely AI, whom she dubs "MPU". That leads into another characteristic- she's the nicest member of the Bebop crew. Edward is always cheerful and eager to help, and even when she does something one could see as cruel, it's never out of spite, but more out of childish ignorance. (See "Mushroom Samba" for more details).

It should be noted that nobody on the Bebop crew is mean to Edward. Not even Spike "hater of children, animals, and women with attitude" Spiegel treats her unkindly. Even Faye likes her. Why is that? Edward is the heart of the Bebop crew. She's a living reminder that hey, these people aren't entirely heartless bounty hunters.

In her final episode "Hard Luck Woman", Edward decides to leave just as abruptly as she entered the Bebop. It is this episode where we finally get some backstory on our hacker. She tends to take after her forgetful father in more ways than way, and sets out on her own journey after the events of the episode. I'm going to be honest and admit this episode's ending nearly brought me to tears.


[It's so saaaaaaad... Anime cry ]

So, that's all I have to say for Edward! I'd like some feedback from all of you, and I hope I can continue posting like this. If things go well, maybe I could get something amazing started. Okay, next week, I'm going to analyze what this:

Has to do with this:

I hope I can see you soon! I have a lot of ideas on where I want to take this. Smilespoiler[]

Last edited by Akane the Catgirl on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:43 am Reply with quote
Hello, everyone! Today, I'd like to talk about one of my favorite- if not, THE favorite- anime series of all time! Last week, I wrote up a character analysis. Today, I'll be tackling a motif that I don't see a lot of people discuss. What is it?

Yep! On today's Akane Analyzes, I take a look at egg symbology in Madoka Magica! Before we begin, let me issue the obligatory spoiler warning. This post will include spoilers for the majority of Madoka Magica. If you have not seen this show and would like to avoid spoilers, I recommend you leave now and go watch it. I am serious. Are we good? Okay.

The first thing I should note is that whenever eggs pop up in this series, it is never in a positive context. Not even Miss Kazuko's rant in the first episode, funny as it may be, is the least bit upbeat. For those of you who don't remember, the girl's homeroom teacher- Kazuko Saotome- has just been dumped again. Before she can introduce Homura Akemi, she first goes on a tirade on how men ask for their eggs. Here is the quote in full:

Saotome: Ahem. I have a very important issue to discuss today, so eyes front, ears open! The correct way to fry an egg is sunny side up or down? Come on, Nakazawa. I don't have all day.

Nakazawa: I...I gue...uh...You can fry it either way, can't you?

Saotome: Yes, precisely. You can fry it either way. Therefore, it goes without saying that you should never judge a women's beauty by the way she fries her eggs! Remember, girls, do not associate with men who refuse to eat eggs that have been fried sunny side down. [...] And you boys better make sure you don't grow up to be men who complain about how the darn eggs are cooked, understand?

That sure is a lot of negativity there. But what does it all mean? Well, eggs are often associated with Kyubey and the Magical Girl system as a whole. To begin with, Kyubey has a prominent pink egg-shaped mark on his back.

It isn't there to look pretty, though. In fact, as we found out around the middle of the series, that egg is used as a depository for used up Grief Seeds. Actually, you could say that a Grief Seed is nothing more than a Witch's egg. And hey, don't Soul Gems look like eggs, too?

And need we not forget that Kyubey is short for Incubator. One defintion for incubator is "an apparatus used to hatch eggs or grow microorganisms under controlled conditions.". Sound familiar? Because after all, Grief Seeds and Soul Gems are one in the same.

I told you this would include spoilers.

Now, let's look back at that seemingly throw-away exchange from the first episode. Specifically, we are going to look at it through the lens of Madoka as a metaphor for patriarchy. The egg obviously refers to the girls, and the man is Kyubey. Here we see our message; if given the chance, a man will hurt you and take advantage of you. If you are not deemed worthy enough, he will leave you and break your heart. Avoid those types of men as you possibly can. And for you boys out there, learn to respect those women.

So, that's all for today's topic! Once more, I'd like some feedback for those of you who took the time to read this. I'd really like to know how you feel about this thread! So, next week, I'm going to analyze song lyrics! Which one is it?

See you soon!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Psycho 101

Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 13384
Location: The Winking Skeever Tavern
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:59 pm Reply with quote
An interesting idea. Most people who do reviews, like say errinundra or Jose Cruz for example, tend to do reviews/posts on entire shows. Not so much specific aspects. So it is a different idea. I am curious though, do you plan to take requests for shows, characters, ideas etc or do you have a list lined up already yourself? I also take it the goal is to get posters to discuss the specific topic you present, not just your view but any they might have as well?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail My Anime My Manga

Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 3959
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Awesome, I appreciate your analysis, Akane. I am for these type of threads that have more detailed analysis given by certain people who are willing to put in the work and effort to maintain it. However, we might want to create some sort of minimum criteria to allow members to do this, since these threads in effect become like a mini-blog for each member. Errinundra and Akane have shown themselves to be worthwhile and dedicated contributors to the forums, so I think their threads are great

Would it be worthwhile to have a list of members with dedicated review threads in one of the stickied posts? Or should we leave things as is?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 4268
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:19 pm Reply with quote
If we think that the "quality" is high enough, then yes. Personally, I am in favor of the proposal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for commenting! I really appreciate your feedback. It means a lot for someone like me. Really, it does.

@Psycho 101

The answer would be yes to both! I will sometimes do requests if I feel there is something worth talking about. At the same time, when I do an analysis, it has to be from an anime I myself have seen. For example, I will not be doing anything from Kunihiko Ikuhara in the near future for personal reasons. In the case of my upcoming Death Note analysis, I myself am about at the halfway point for that series, but considering the subject matter, I feel like I know enough to write a satisfactory post. Some future posts I want to do will be covering material from FLCL, Psycho-Pass (when I finish that), some Studio Ghibli movies, Welcome to the NHK!, and more.


I am quite open to others sharing their interpretations of what I post. By all means, I'd like to see discussions on alternate takes on the material I cover. What makes these stories so great is that you can say almost anything about them, and any interpretation could be equally correct as the other. Isn't that what great art is?

Once more, I'd like to thank you two for taking the time to comment. I hope you can come by on Sunday when I post my analysis on the first opening of Death Note, The WORLD. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I'd be happy to answer most of the time. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 05 Jun 2014
Posts: 569
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Akane the Catgirl wrote:
Now, let's look back at that seemingly throw-away exchange from the first episode. Specifically, we are going to look at it through the lens of Madoka as a metaphor for patriarchy. The egg obviously refers to the girls, and the man is Kyubey. Here we see our message; if given the chance, a man will hurt you and take advantage of you.

Nice observations Smile While I definitely see Kyubey as representative of the patriarchy, I'm not sure that the eggs are symbolic of women as a whole; that seems a bit broad to me. Your post got me thinking though; what if the eggs are meant to allude to ovulation & the menstruation cycle?

Not sure if you've seen Revolutionary Girl Utena, but there is an episode entitled 'Nanami's Egg'. In this episode it's pretty clear that eggs are a symbol of female pubescence and the growth into adulthood. In Madoka Magica, Kyubey mentions that the Incubators specifically target adolescent women. The reason he gives for this IIRC is that the emotional capacity is greatest amongst this group. So it's not much a stretch to equate eggs here with female adolescence. Starting menstruation and adolescence can be pretty damn scary and upsetting. Kyubey preying on those emotions is just so creepy and so.... Lovecraftian I guess I could say.

It may even be an indication of the patriarchy that under the Incubator system, they have to keep their Soul Gems 'clean'. As you pointed out, the soul gems have an egg shape. Could be understood then as the patriarchy and their pressure on young women to keep their sexual purity. Specifically, once a girl loses her purity, she becomes a Witch; and that change cannot be reversed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:28 am Reply with quote
Hello, and welcome to Akane Analyzes! Today's analysis will be a bit different than usual in that I will not be analyzing a character or symbol. Rather, I will be looking at song lyrics in relation to context to the anime it was used in. So, which anime will I be dissecting today?

Yep! On today's Akane Analyzes, I take a look at the first opening of essential anime Death Note: The WORLD. So, I'm actually not going to issue the obligatory spoiler warning for the entire show this time. Why? Well, the subject material this covers only really applies to the very beginning. Basically, if you haven't progressed beyond the Raye Penber episodes, you're going to be very confused. Now, on with the show!

So I should mention that this opening is one of my favorite openings of all time. Not only is the direction fantastic, but it conveys everything you need to know in ways you've never seen before. The art is great, the cinematography is great, and most importantly, the song is great. Nightmare has obviously put a lot of effort into making The WORLD as Death Note-y as possible. What do I mean?

Here are the translated lyrics for the opening:

In the spreading darkness I exchange a pledge for the revolution
I can't let anyone interfere with it
The fruit of the future told me
[About] changing dreams into reality
It's an "ending" everyone desires
[Lines One and Two are repeated]
Someday, I will show you
A world shining with light

So, now that we got that out of the way, let's analyze those lyrics! To begin with, let's look at the narrator's intentions. He wants to change the world- revolutionize it, really. Specifically, he wants to make the world a better and happier place filled with sunshine and puppies. And if you oppose him, well, he won't let you by any means necessary. Sound familiar?

And need we not forget this little quip from the first episode?

Light: At first, I wrote the names of the worst criminals I could think of, like I was cleaning up the world one name at a time, so that eventually no one will ever do anything evil again. And while the truly guilty ones who deserve to be punished for their crimes die of heart attacks, the people who are less guilty, but who still make trouble for others, will slowly be erased through disease and accidental death. Then, and only then, the world will start moving in the right direction. It'll be a new world free of injustice and populated by people who I've judged to be honest, kind, and hardworking.

Ryuk: But if you did that, it'd make you the only bad person left.

Light: Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm a hardworking honors student who's considered to be one of Japan's best and brightest. And I... I will become the God of this new world.

So, yes. The WORLD delves right into the mind of our villain protagonist Light Yagami. We see how he thinks, and why he has decided to become Kira. He thinks killing these people is a good thing, and everything will magically work out for the better because he's a good guy, see? He's not so much a villain as he is an incredibly disturbed young man in need of psychiatric help.

And that's all for today's analysis. I don't have a lot to say, since this is really only analyzing a song. However, next week's topic is going to go more into thematic content rather than just a piece of symbolism or a character arc. Which anime have I selected for my next analysis?

Yes. Next time on Akane Analyzes, I take a look at the importance of identity in Princess Tutu! Once more, I'd like some feedback and suggestions from all of you out there. Thank you for taking your time and I'll see you soon! Take care.


So, this section will be used to respond to readers. Rather than make individual posts, I will add this section after my own analyses to engage with you- yes, you!- who have interesting things to say. Our first response is from Lili-hime!

If I meant to imply that egg=woman, then no. I did not. I apologize if my wording was off, but you have something interesting going on. No, I have not gotten around to seeing Utena yet, and I have no plans to until maybe a few more years down the line? Anyway, I do agree that the metaphors used for the Incubator system is quite disturbing under the "Magical Girl system is patriarchy" lens. This becomes more creepy since you brought up the "Witch= woman who does not conform to society's standards for what a woman should be". Thanks! I appreciate your input, and I hope I can engage more with you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:11 am Reply with quote
Welcome back to Akane Analyzes! Like I mentioned last time, today's post will be more a look at thematic content than any one specific thing. The anime I've selected was from my very early otaku days, probably late middle/early high school, if my memory hasn't failed me. My love for it only bloomed when I watched it again and realized how intelligent and thoughtful this series was. Drumroll please!

Today on Akane Analyzes, I take a look at the importance of identity in Princess Tutu! Once again, I must issue the obligatory spoiler warning. This post will be spoiling the entirety of the Princess Tutu series. If you haven't seen it and would like to avoid spoilers, I recommend you leave and go watch it. It's really really good.

Now, here's a quick summary of the premise for this show. It's a story about a duck who wants to be a human girl. At the same time it's also the tale of a clumsy ballet student pining for the most popular guy in school. It is also a fantasy of a ballerina princess who must search for the heart shards of a fallen prince. Did I mention they're all the same person?

Indeed, the theme of identity cannot be highlighted anymore than it can be with our main heroine, Duck (or Ahiru, if you watched it in Japanese). Duck lives three lives: one of a cute duck; one of a clutzy and awkward human; and one as an elegant and poised magical girl. The last one- her Princess Tutu self- represents who Duck wants to be. She wants to be good at dancing and to be with Mytho. However, Mytho doesn't like Duck, but the idealized Princess Tutu.

At the end, Duck agrees to sacrifice her human body by giving away the last heart shard- that of hope- to Mytho. Neither Princess Tutu nor Duck the Human exist anymore, and compared to the likes of Rue's sacrifice, Siegfried's sword-fighting, and Fakir's story-spinning, Duck is helpless. But does she give up? Hell no! She keeps on dancing, inspiring Fakir with her determination to give everyone a happy ending. Even though she isn't perfect, Duck is true to herself. She doesn't need to be the best, and that's okay.

Next, we'll take a look at Mytho's three identities.

The first image depicted here is who Mytho is throughout the first half and most of the second half of the show. When initially discovered by Fakir, the amnesiac prince is nothing more than an empty shell. He has no likes or dislikes, has little emotional reaction or attachment, and is driven merely by the desire to help others. As his heart shards are returned, he becomes more reactive, showing the viewers his true self as kind, friendly, and selfless.

At the second half of the show, however, we are introduced to Dark Mytho, born from the corrupted shard of love soaked in the Raven's blood. Who exactly is he? Perhaps he's the obvious representation of Mytho's dark side. Perhaps he's another personality cultivated by Mytho after his not-deflowering at Rue's hands. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what he is, but who he is. Dark Mytho craves love, praying on the hearts of young maidens to sacrifice to the Raven. He demands that everyone love him, in contrast to regular!Mytho's earning love without asking for it. He is the personification of what not to do to get popularity.

At the end, we are introduced to Prince Siegfried, the true self of Mytho. He's brave and heroic, having earlier sacrificed his heart to seal away the Raven. After all is said and done, he and Rue go on to live happily ever after together. But wait, says Rue, she's not good enough for him. She's part raven, after all! And to this, Siegfried says "I don't care about that! I care about you!". He truly is a Prince Charming type.

And now, we shall examine the two Rues.

At the beginning, Rue lives a normal life at Gold Town Academy. She's the most popular girl at school, has the non-heart of Mytho, and is loved by a good majority of her classmates. However, when she awakens as Kraehe, she becomes aloof and spiteful. Her envy towards Princess Tutu only serves as the catalyst for Kraehe's return. Nobody's going to take her precious Mytho away from her!

In the second half of the series, however, we get a good look at Rue's background. All her life, she has been a victim, whether it be from her father of Mytho's other personality. She desires true affection, having only got it from the then amnesiac Siegfried. In the end, she rejects her crow side- and thus, her identity as Kraehe- and fully becomes Rue. She refuses to be a pawn for her adoptive father, and almost pays the price until Siegfried comes for her. Both live happily ever after as their true selves.

And finally, we analyze Fakir. (Sorry, but we only have one picture.)

Throughout the show, we see three sides of Fakir. The first we see is that of the cold and cruel student, who pushes Mytho around and butts heads with Duck. He only got this way, however, because kindness didn't work. However, this self is not his true self, and the narrative paints his actions as wrong. Fakir must learn not to be so overly-protective of Mytho.

The next two sides are those of Fakir the Swordfighter and Fakir the Storyteller. Fakir is both the reincarnation of Siegfried's knight and a descendant of Drosselmeyer. For a few episodes of the first half and all the second, Fakir struggles with both these aspects of himself. Should he go on and keep bodyguarding Mytho, albeit with a grisly fate in store? Or should he reignite his childhood passion of writing, even though he's not skilled at it? Ultimately, he chooses to follow in Drosselemeyer's footsteps, giving a happy ending as his true self.

And that's not even all the cast! I could talk about Uzura as the reincarnation of Edel, Edel herself as the woman and the puppet, Autor as the wannabe, and so much more! In the end, identity plays a major role throughout Princess Tutu, showing us how important it is to remain true to yourself, even when that self isn't perfect.

Next time, I'll be doing a compare and contrast. Specifically, I'll be taking a look at two very famous movies. Both were released together as a double feature back in the late Eighties, and both have achieved international acclaim. What am I talking about?

Thank you for reading! Remember to leave some feedback so I can know what you think! I want to know what your opinions are! So a bientot, until we meet again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 4268
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:20 pm Reply with quote
And that's not even all the cast! I could talk about Uzura as the reincarnation of Edel, Edel herself as the woman and the puppet, Autor as the wannabe, and so much more! In the end, identity plays a major role throughout Princess Tutu, showing us how important it is to remain true to yourself, even when that self isn't perfect.

Damn it all! It's not fair to end on a cliff-hanger like that!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:53 am Reply with quote
Welcome to today's Akane Analyzes, everyone! Now, before we can begin, I have a minor announcement to make. I'm going back to school this week, so I'll be shifting my schedule to Saturdays from now on. So, that means my next analysis post will be on September 5. Got that? Okay.

For today's post, I decided to do a compare and contrast between two very famous movies. Both were animated by Studio Ghibli in the Eighties, and both were released together as a double feature. One is considered one of the best family films of all time, and the other reached critical acclaim. So, which two did I pick?

Today on Akane Analyzes, I take a gander at My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies, and see whether or not they're really that different. Standard spoiler warnings apply. Go watch a movie or two. 'Course, I'm assuming that at this point, you already have seen our films for today.

So, let's start out with a little history. Both Grave and Totoro were released together on April 16, 1988. How did they do? Well...not very good. Yes, they were both given plenty of praise, but money wise? It was a bomb. The double feature made five hundred and ninety million yen in total, which would equal to about five million and ninety thousand US dollars. That would be enough to recoup a budget for one movie, but two? To this day, the Grave and Totoro double feature places as the second lowest grossing Ghibli films. (With Laputa as Number One)

However, I can actually see why this decision was made. Sure, it was a huge failure, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Yes, their tones may be polar opposites, with different situations and different subject material. But...maybe they're actually quite similar?

OKAY, OKAY! Let me explain. We'll start with what they have in common. Both movies take place a few decades prior to their release date. They center around two children who are siblings, with the younger one being a girl. The older sibling is doting and more responsible, while the little sister is carefree and innocent. Their stories follow the two siblings in the countryside as they learn about life.

And that's where the surface similarities end. Totoro and Grave have two completely different tones, origins, and endings. The first is an optimistic tale based on Hayao Miyazaki's childhood that has a standard happy ending. The latter is a tearjerking tale based on a semi-memoir by Akiyuki Nosaka, which ends on a tragic note. But what themes do they have that act as a contrast?

Well, let's start with Grave. This movie- to me, at least- revolves around two themes. The first is about the loss of innocence, and the second is about endings in general. In the world of the movie, Seita and Setsuko are surrounded by finality. First, they lose their mother to a bombing. Then later on, the war itself comes to an end. Then goes Setsuko's innocence, and finally, their lives. Seita's goal is to keep Setsuko in a little bubble of happiness and ignorance, and is willing to lie to her face just to keep her from finding out what really happened to their mother. Of course, he fails.

[Ah, what could have been is the most bitter irony of all.]

In contrast, Totoro acts as a paen to childhood and new beginnings. Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe move out to the countryside so they can be closer to their ill mother. The movie focuses on things that might be mundane to an adult, but mind-blowing and phenomenal to a kid. The girls encounter spirits outside their new home, make new friends, and are generally very happy with their lives. Their does come a point when the girls are faced with the possibility that their mother could die, but she does not.

[Off to a new and adventurous life with you and you and you!]

So, in the end, maybe the higher-ups at Ghibli were on to something. It might not have paid off money-wise, but both My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies live in in people's hearts all over the world. Even those who aren't anime fans know what about these two marvelous films. They'll continue to be remembered as animated classics for a very, very, very long time.

My next post will be a character analysis. The character I have selected is one of my favorite female characters of all time. She might not be remembered in comparison to another pink-haired lead of their OVA, but I found myself drawn to her. Who is she?

YAY! Next time on Akane Analyzes, I dissect Mamimi Samejima from one of the my favorite anime OVAs of all time, FLCL. Thank you all for reading this! Please leave feedback, and I'll see you next time. Later!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:30 am Reply with quote
Happy Saturday, everybody! So, for today's post, I decided to do another character analysis. The character I have selected for today is from an OVA made by Studio Gainax after they finished up production on the s**tstorm that was End of Evangelion. Who is she?

Yessiree! Today on Akane Analyzes, we're gonna take a look at Mamimi Samejima from FLCL. Once more, I shall recite the obligatory spoiler warning. There will be spoilers for the entirety of the FLCL series. If you haven't seen it yet and would like to avoid being spoiled, turn away and go watch it. Just don't do it in one go like I did that one time. The headache I got was legendary.

Now, for those of you still with me, you may be asking me- why Mamimi? Why not Haruko? After all, she is the more prominent of the two. Well, in my opinion, Haruko Haruhara- while interesting and fun- felt more like a symbol than a character. But that topic is for another day. On with the show!

To begin with, one of the main motifs of FLCL is that of every character being immature in someway. Mamimi's immaturity is more of an emotional flavor compared to that of Mr. Nandaba or Naota himself. When we first meet her, she and Naota are practicing baseball, which was the preferred sport of Tasuku (Naota's brother). It is very obvious that Mamimi has a big fat obsessive crush on Tasuku, whom we later find out went to America to play baseball. Needless to say, when she finds out he has a GIRLFRIEND, Mamimi does not take this well.

For the rest of the series, Mamimi gains an almost creepy interest in Naota. Really, though, she's only using him as a substitute for his older brother. Rather than refer to him as "Naota", Mamimi calls him "Ta-kun". Even more notably, she uses that nickname on whomever she has deemed to be her emotional drug dispenser for the episode, from Naota, to a kitten, to even a robot dog.


The second episode, "Fire Starter", is dedicated to our troubled tritagonist. Mamimi, while wearing a school uniform, is not actually seen attending school herself. She spends her days by the riverside, doing anything from taking photos to playing a video game where you burn down a whole city. Oh, did I forget to mention that it's very blatantly hinted that Mamimi set fire to her grade school?

[This was also the event that allowed Mamimi to meet Tasuku, by the way.]

See, Mamimi is not right in the head. It's also hinted that Mamimi was bullied in school, leading her to become a delinquent. Since then, she has drifted through life, unable to form anything remotely resembling a healthy relationship. She meets Tasuku, and she attaches herself to him. In "Fire Starter" she meets Canti, and practically worships him. Mamimi is so broken and desperate for affection that when deprived of it, she goes bonkers.

[When that's in her mouth, that's not a good sign.]

By the end of the series, everyone Mamimi has loved is gone. Naota abandons her after she accidently blurts out Tasuku's name, Canti has run off with Haruko, and even the kitten has found a partner. As Mamimi wanders the city, she encounters a little robot that is actually the Terminal Core. When it grabs her phone, Mamimi initially protests, crying out that it has Tasuku's phone number. But after a brief moment of consideration, she allows the Terminal Core to eat it, signifying her realization that her sempai isn't coming home.

You'd think that would mean Mamimi's learned her lesson, right? NOPE. Mamimi insteads move on to emotionally attach herself to the little robot dog, passing on the "Ta-kun" moniker to him. With nothing holding her back, she seeks revenge on those who hurt her back when she attended classes. With the Terminal Core by her side, Mamimi feeds it the prized possessions of her bullies as payback.

Eventually, though, Mamimi calms down. As revealed in the ending, she did indeed move on to better things. She leaves town to pursue a career in photography. She even calls Naota by his name again.

The story of Mamimi Samejima is that of emotional dependency and of a girl refusing to move on from someone with whom she may not ever have had a relationship with to begin with. Her tale is about obsession and the dark side of idolatry. But in the end, Mamimi is able to find her happy ending. Even the most messed up stalkers can mature and learn to move on, says FLCL.

So, that's it for today. Hmm...I think I'll do another Gainax theme post next Saturday. I already mentioned EVA. But what should I do...?

Next week on Akane Analyzes, I'm going to take a look at the endings of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and see which is better! Thanks for reading! And please, leave some feedback so I can make my posts as great as possible. Until then!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 4268
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Whenever the topic of FLCL comes up I feel absolutely compelled to point people to this [adult swim] posting. IMO it's quite impressive and well worth reading.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:10 am Reply with quote
Hello, and welcome to Akane Analyzes. Today, I'm going to touch on a topic from one of the most divisive anime in history. Specifically, I'm going to talk about it's infamous conclusions. Yes, this show has two endings- one for it's television series, and an entire movie released a few years later. What am I talking about?

Correct! Today, I'm going to be discussing the finales of both the Neon Genesis Evangelion television series and it's alternate ending film The End of Evangelion. And because this is a post analyzing an ending, I don't think I have to put up the obligatory spoiler warning. But I will anyway. This post will include spoilers for the entirety of the EVA anime and End of EVA movie. Please proceed if you have seen them (and most of you have), but for everyone else, stop here and go watch the show.

In addition, I will also be putting my first ever trigger warning! This post will contain fairly graphic and triggering images. If you have a history of sexual or physical abuse, please turn away. Thank you and have a nice day.

So, first off, let's see what was happening behind the scenes over at Gainax. Hideaki Anno had started therapy for his depression during production for the second half of the show. As a result, the show's already dark tone became even more bleak by the episode. Eventually, Gainax was both broke and out of time, which meant no explosive finale for their hit anime! What's my opinion on the ending the writers came up with?



And most of you would probably agree! To this day, the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion has gained infamy for being confusing and a huge let-down for fans. Almost nobody likes how EVA concluded. And the reason for that is because the final two episodes are one, big, fat anti-climax.



An event, conclusion, statement, etc., that is far less important, powerful, or striking than expected."


And yes, [b/]EVA[/b]'s ending is an anti-climax. We went from mystery and robot battles to the characters going to therapy for forty-five minutes. You heard that right. The characters talk their problems out, wax philosophical, then Shinji just changes his worldview with no leadup and everyone holds hands and sings kum-ba-yah. The. End.

Let's flash forward to the summer of 1997. It's been over a year since the final episode of the series aired. Unlike before, Gainax now has both the time and the money to make the ending they wanted to. Of course, the main reason the End of EVA movie could even exist was because of the fact it was a huge mainstream hit. It's time to go satiate the fanbase! And...well...

Well, that happened!

I'm going to be honest and say I have no clue what to feel about End of EVA. I knew what was going to happen. I knew about Instrumentality and how almost everyone died at the end. And yet, after finishing the movie, I had no clue what to think. Yes, I know what objectively happened, and I still think it's better than the first ending. But is the movie itself good?

...I don't know! I legitimately don't know! There comes a time when something comes along and you just don't know what to make of it. Sadly, this is one of those times. I'm sorry if you were expecting a more thorough analysis, but I must wave my white flag for now.

In conclusion, while at least one of the endings of EVA is considered one of the worst endings in anime history, anime fans are still talking about them even twenty years later. Both are remembered as being confusing as hell, and yet at the same time, have made a huge splash in terms of impact. So congratulations, Studio Gainax. You've created one of the most unique conclusions in anime history, regardless of whether they are good or not.

For next week, I'm going to do another compare and contrast. Once again, it will be Studio Gainax themed. I'm sure this post will gain absolutely NO controversy whatsoever. Here they are!

Yep. I'm convinced that a feminist reading on Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill will NOT attract controversy at all. No siree. Thanks for reading! Please leave feedback, and have a good rest of the day. See you soon!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akane the Catgirl

Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1067
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:28 am Reply with quote
Hello, everyone, to Akane Analyzes. Today, I'm going to be writing what will likely be my most controversial post. This subject has been the cause of endless flame wars that even I myself have been dragged into. Hit it!

On today's Akane Analyzes, I do a feminist analysis on Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill! Once again, standard spoiler warnings apply. This post will contain spoilers for both Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill. If you haven't seen both shows and would like to watch them spoiler-free, I recommend you leave now. Thank you.

So, you ask, what IS my opinion on feminism in the two anime series I've brought up? Which is more feminist than the others? Are they both female-friendly or flamingly misogynistic? Well, you're probably going to kill me for saying this, but...

I think that Gurren Lagann is ridiculously and naively sexist, while Kill la Kill- even with it's over-the-top fanservice- is feminist friendly.

OKAY OKAY! Let me explain! Geez! So, er, let's begin with why I think that Gurren Lagann is sexist.

I don't think this show hates women, not at all. So, I wouldn't really use the term "misogynist" so much as "does not know how to write woman". In the world of Gurren Lagann, women are love interests, and can only truly be useful in relation to their male comrades. For example, Nia's only purpose within the narrative is to be Simon's girlfriend. Seriously, she's adorable and all, but let's not kid ourselves. Princess Nia Teppelin exists to be a Satellite Love Interest. She has pretty much no life outside of Simon, nor does she aspire to have one.

The two breaking points (for me at least) come during the timeskip arc. Point Number One revolves around minor character Kiyoh (oldest of the Black sisters and younger sister of supporting character Kittan.) Her personality was already mostly defined by her body, but then she goes ahead and has a baby. What happens after that? "Whelp, you can't do anything anymore now that you're a mom! Just sit there and fulfill your societal role of mother!"

Point Number Two focuses more on Nia. During the events of the arc, she is revealed to be a sleeper agent for the Anti-Spiral. Of course, her Anti-spiral costume is very sexualized, and she is reduced to a living Macguffin for Simon and his friends to save. While she was already sort of useless narrative-wise, post-timeskip Nia has been completely objectified by the story.

Oh, but what about Yoko?

I will admit that Yoko Littner is the closest thing we have to a feminist-character in Gurren Lagann. I like her, actually. She knows her stuff, is willing to fight for those she loves, and, well, there's nothing wrong with a bit of sexy, right? Well...

In the end, Yoko is still defined as a women first and character second. She only really has worth when she's fighting for the men, not for herself. During the timeskip, she is seen working as a teacher- a traditionally feminine occupation- and by the end, is shown as a tragic heroine for not having a love interest.

(I should also mention that there's a really sexist Japanese joke whose punchline is "Ha ha, female teachers can't get laid!" Yoko is still a teacher by the end of the series. Figure it out.)

So, what makes Kill la Kill feminist, anyway? How can it be, with all those naked female bodies everywhere? Well, there's also a lot of naked MALE bodies throughout Kill la Kill. In fact, there's a character that's practically dedicated to female-oriented fanservice!

[Aaaaaaaand hundreds of screaming fangirls just fainted.]

If there is a naked women in the show, a naked man is not too far behind. In fact, not all of the nudity in Kill la Kill is played solely for erotic purposes. For example, when Mako is shown in a compromising position or in the buff, it's usually because it's funny. When Satsuki's in her birthday suit or Junketsu, it either means it's a dramatic scene or she's going to do something awesome. If Ryuko is seen minus Senketsu, it could be anything above.

I can also say that by the end of the show, there is not a single named character the audience has seen naked. Not one. Kill la Kill loves naked bodies, regardless of physical sex. Seriously, look up the last TV episode. LOOK AT IT.

But what about the characters? I can proudly say that all three female leads can stand on their own without being defined by men. I can also say that none of them are cardboard cutouts or idealized fantasies. Ryuko can both be awesome and flawed at the same time. Satsuki is allowed to show weakness sometimes. Mako is allowed to do something other than be comic relief.

Are there times when Kill la Kill goes too far? Sure. Are there times when the show's fanservice gets a bit too skeevy of uncomfortable. At least once. But overall, I think this show is one of the most feminist-friendly anime shows I've seen. I love these girls, and the fanservice isn't too shabby!

[My favorite character being amazing. Marry me.]

So, those are my thoughts for today. What's my next post? Well, I think I'm going to do another song lyric analysis post. Here's a hint.

Thanks for coming! Please leave feedback so I can keep this thread at top quality! What did you think of today's topic? Let me know! See you soon. Smile

Last edited by Akane the Catgirl on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Anime All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page   Next
Page 1 of 31


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group